Enchiladas have long been part of Mexico’s culinary history, including Mayan and Aztec culture. The original dish was corn tortillas dipped in a chili sauce. But as other ingredients became more available, people began filling enchiladas with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables, creating the enchiladas that are still served today.
The roasted vegetable enchilada recipe I created is a multi-step recipe that may take a little time to prepare, but the steps are not difficult. The homemade corn tortillas are made using masa harnia, and are a lighter and more tender version than the ones found in stores. I added in a little melted butter, salt and hot water. If making your own tortillas isn’t on the agenda, store-bought tortillas still work quite well with all the other flavorful components.
The homemade red chili enchilada sauce may seem daunting, but many of the ingredients are ones that are already in your pantry. Plus, the sauce brings this dish to a whole other level that can’t be matched by store-bought sauces. To save time, make the sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer.
I used squash, zucchini and butternut squash in the filling and the Homemade Chili con Queso recipe to bind the vegetables together. Feel free to change up the varieties of vegetables to suit your personal preference, and use your favorite queso.
FOR THE VEGETABLE FILLING:
1 cup butternut squash, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 cups zucchini, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup yellow squash, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup red or yellow bell peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup red onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 cup prepared chili con queso
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Place the sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the olive oil, salt and seasonings.
- Roast the vegetables 7 to 9 minutes. Stir. Roast for another 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the roasted vegetables. Let cool until you’re ready to assemble the enchiladas.
FOR THE RED ENCHILADA SAUCE:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ tablespoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- In a heavy sauce pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the flour. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add in the chili powder, ground cumin and smoky paprika. Continue stirring for 1 minute.
- Add in the granulated garlic, salt and tomato paste. Stir until well combined. Slowly mix in the vegetable broth and vinegar.
- Keep stirring to ensure there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Allow the enchilada sauce to continue cooking until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and cool. Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. This sauce will last in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
TO ASSEMBLE THE ROASTED VEGETABLE ENCHILADAS:
- Spray a 9-by-13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup of the red chili enchilada sauce to evenly coat the bottom of the dish.
- Place the roasted vegetables into a mixing bowl. Toss them with 1 cup of cooled Chili con Queso sauce. Set aside.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Warm 12 corn tortillas for 7 to 10 seconds per side, or just long enough to make the tortillas more pliable. Keep the tortillas under a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out while you fill and roll the enchiladas.
- Place a tortilla on a clean work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the vegetable filling in the middle of the tortilla. Fold one side of the tortilla over the filling. Roll up the tortilla.
- Place the enchilada seam-side-down in the prepared casserole dish. Continue these steps, placing the enchiladas side-by-side in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Cover the enchiladas with foil. This can be made a day ahead of time.
- When ready to bake, remove the enchiladas from the fridge and bring up to room temperature. Keep enchiladas covered and bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through. Remove the foil and allow the enchiladas to cool slightly before serving.
This article was originally published in the March 2022 issue of 225 magazine.